Friday, February 08, 2008

Non-subscription updates means charged?

The justification for the iPod Touch upgrade fee (to enable the new apps, which are actually deployed-but-disabled by a free firmware upgrade) is the same as the justification given for the MacBook wireless upgrade fee last year - that adding new features to a product that isn't sold as a subscription service needs to be charged for. That in itself is odd - it means that the regulators in the States get to set a price (if not the price) for hitherto free products offered by companies. But it raises a more interesting question - what constitutes a new feature? If a bugfix renders a previously-unusable feature usable, is that charged for? If a security fix makes it possible to use a system in a different environment, should that be charged for?

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